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Cinema Tourism: Kerala allots Rs 1.23 cr for facelift of 'Kireedam' bridge

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Thiruvananthapuram, June 12 ( IANS) The Tourism Department in Kerala has sanctioned Rs 1.23 crore under the ‘Cinema Tourism’ initiative for the facelift of a bridge and its surroundings at Vellayani near here, the locale of some memorable scenes from the cult Malayalam movie ‘Kireedam’ (1989) that catapulted actor Mohanlal to superstardom.

The bridge, which has been rechristened as ‘Kireedam Bridge’, is located at a scenic spot with lush green paddy fields around it.

Sensing its potential as a tourist destination, Kerala Tourism has included the bridge in its new scheme ‘Cinema Tourism’, which aims to showcase locales across the state that turned into memorable spots for the blockbuster hits shot there.

State Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas said the bridge is the first project under the Cinema Tourism scheme that aims to convert popular locations of famed movies into attractive tourism spots.

–IANS

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BJP conspiring against Delhiites to create water crisis, alleges Atishi

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Delhi Water Minister Atishi on Sunday alleged that the BJP is conspiring against Delhiites and the party is responsible for the water crisis in the national capital.

She said that the conspiracy is three-fold.

First, the BJP is not allowing the Haryana government to release Delhi’s share of Yamuna water.

Second, she questioned BJP leaders for posing before the broken water pipelines, adding that the South Delhi Rising Mains — the main pipeline that carries water from Sonia Vihar WTP to South Delhi — was deliberately damaged to disrupt the supply of drinking water.

Third, she alleged that none other than supporters of former BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri vandalised the office of Delhi Jal Board in Chattarpur, disturbing law and order of the area.

“We have complained to the Delhi police and I have myself sent the video (of the incident) to DCP of South Delhi. We will await to see if an FIR is filed against former BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri by the Delhi Police. Will Delhi Police take cognizance of this video and file FIR against BJP goons?” Atishi questioned in a press conference held on Sunday.

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Earlier in the day, Atishi urged the city’s Police Commissioner to deploy police personnel to patrol and protect major water pipelines in the national capital for the next 15 days.

She said that the Delhi Jal Board ground patrolling team reported a major leakage in South Delhi Rising Mains since several large 375 mm bolts and one 12 inch bolt had been cut from the pipeline, causing the leakage.

“The fact that several large bolts had been cut seems to indicate foul play and sabotage.Our maintenance team worked for six hours continuously and repaired the leakage, but this meant that we had to stop pumping of water for six hours and 20 MGD of water was not pumped during that time. As a consequence, a further 25 per cent of water shortage will be experienced in south Delhi,” said Atishi, in a letter posted on X.

–IANS

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Union Home Minister directs security forces to ensure safe, smooth, incident-free Amarnath Yatra

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday urged security forces and the J&K administration to ensure a smooth, safe, and incident-free Amarnath Yatra this year.

The Union Home Minister chaired a high-level security review meeting here in the national capital, attended by J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, NSA Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, IB Director Tapan Deka, Army chief, Gen Manoj Pande, Army chief-designate Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, J&K Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, J&K DGP, R.R.Swain, CRPF DGP, Anish Dayal Singh, J&K’s ADGP, Law & Order, Vijay Kumar, IGP Jammu, Anand Jain, and senior army and intelligence officers.

Amit Shah advised the security forces that all needed measures should be taken to ensure a smooth, safe and incident-free Yatra that begins on June 29 and will end on August 19. He directed the security forces to maintain 24×7 vigil and surveillance on the national highway and other roads and streets which are used by the Yatris to reach the Valley.

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He also advised the security forces to ensure that the Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrimage and Shiv Khori temple pilgrimage take place without any hassles or inconvenience to the pilgrims.

He also directed the security forces to crush terrorism in the Jammu division and also ensure that it was wiped out from the Kashmir Valley at all costs. He assured all support in terms of resources and manpower to the security forces in their fight against terrorism.

–IANS

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Bengal BJP leader's relative apologises again for his derogatory comments on Amit Malviya

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Kolkata, June 16 (IANS) Santanu Sinha, an RSS associate in West Bengal having family links with BJP’s former national secretary Rahul Sinha, on Sunday issued a second letter of apology to BJP’s Information Technology Cell chief and the co-in-charge of the party’s state unit in West Bengal, Amit Malviya, over derogatory comments that he made in a Facebook post.

On June 8, Malviya’s counsel served a legal notice to Sinha on June 8 asking the latter to be asked to tender a public apology and also remove the slanderous social post within three days from the receipt of the legal notice, failing which Malviya will initiate legal proceedings, both civil and criminal, against him.

Since then, Sinha, a self-proclaimed president of an organisation in the name and style of Hindu Samhati, had forwarded two apology letters to Malviya.

In the letter, Sinha said that he repented from “the depth of his soul” for the development arising out of the “misinterpretation of my post which has harmed and hampered the reputation of Malviya as a person and BJP as a political party”.

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“I so express my apology to your client as a person and to BJP as the political party for the harassment and dishonour caused by the misinterpretation of my post,” the letter dated June 16 read.

In his last letter, Sinha also reminded that he had already posted another article on the same social media on June 10. He has clarified the original and actual meaning of that controversial post against which the legal notice was issued to him.

–IANS

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Additional central forces deployed in Manipur's violence-hit Jiribam district, relief material distributed

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Imphal, June 16 (IANS) As tension still prevails in Manipur’s mixed-population Jiribam district, additional CRPF troopers have been deployed in the interior areas of its Borobekra subdivision to maintain peace and tranquillity, officials said on Sunday.

The Borobekra subdivision of Jiribam, adjoining southern Assam, had been badly affected after the killing of 59-year-old farmer Soibam Saratkumar Singh on June 6.

Around 900 tribals belonging to the Kuki and Hmar communities took shelter at the homes of relatives and friends in two villages – Haokippunji and Hmarkhawlienin – in the Cachar district of southern Assam, after violence broke out.

The Jiribam district administration on Sunday distributed cooking gas cylinders and other necessary items in the seven relief camps, where around 1,000 people, mostly belonging to the Meitei community, have taken shelter after the violence.

Officials in Imphal said that the district health officials have been providing healthcare services round the clock to the villagers.

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The Education Department has also started lessons from Classes one to eight for around 100 children taking shelter in the camps at the Bidyanagar Multipurpose Sports Complex in the district headquarters. A headmaster and 23 teachers were posted in the temporary school. Textbooks and notebooks have already been provided to the students.

Similar temporary schools will also be set up in nearby relief camps as and when necessary.

Movement of goods trucks and LPG-carrying vehicles has commenced along the Imphal-Jiribam National Highway (NH-37) from Saturday under the protection of a CRPF convoy.

Tension still prevails in Jiribam, inhabited by Meiteis, Nagas, Kukis, Muslims and non-Manipuris, where a wave of violence broke out after the killing of Saratkumar Singh, who belonged to the Meitei community. A senior police official said that two police checkposts, a forest beat office, and at least 100 houses were set afire in Jiribam by attackers on June 7 and 8.

Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has demanded an immediate end to the ethnic crisis in Jiribam, which has led to the displacement of about 1,600 people. A meeting of the state unit’s Political Affairs Committee, chaired by state chief K. Meghachandra Singh, was held at Congress Bhawan on Saturday and resolved to appeal to the Central and state governments to control the situation in Jiribam district immediately, a Congress leader said on Sunday.

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–IANS

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Amaravati works to be completed in 2.5 years, says Andhra minister

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Amaravati, June 16 (IANS) Works relating to the development of Amaravati as Andhra Pradesh’s capital will be completed in two-and-a-half years, said P. Narayana on Sunday after taking charge as the Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development.

With the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) back in power, work is set to resume in Amaravati, where it had come to a standstill in 2019 after the YSR Congress Party government had announced its plans to build three state capitals.

The TDP, which stormed to power along with its allies Jana Sena and BJP, has made it clear that Amaravati will be developed as the sole state capital as planned earlier.

After assuming office at the state Secretariat, Narayana said the works in Amaravati would resume soon.

“We will do a review in 15 days and decide on a time-bound programme,” he said while making clear that Amaravati will be developed as the old master plan.

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Narayana said that the development of Amaravati in three phases will cost Rs.1 lakh crore.

The first phase was taken up by the earlier TDP government at a cost of Rs 48,000 crore. He recalled that tenders were called to undertake works to provide basic amenities covering a major part of the capital and to construct residential quarters for ministers, secretaries, officials and other employees. The then government had also made payments to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore. He claimed that 90 per cent of the works relating to residential blocks of ministers, secretaries and officials were completed.

The minister said Amaravati was designed as one of the five best capitals in the world. The design was prepared with the assistance from the Singapore government. A team of ministers and officials had also visited Singapore, China, Japan, Russia, and Malaysia to prepare the design. He recalled that the then government had issued a land pooling notification on January 1, 2015, to acquire land required for the state capital and by February 28, farmers had handed over 34,000 acres of land to the government without any litigation.

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Narayana said since he gained experience by undertaking various studies for the development of state capital during the earlier TDP government, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has once again entrusted the portfolio of Municipal Administration and Urban Development to him.

Narayana also announced that 100 Anna canteens will be re-opened in the next 21 days.

After assuming office as the minister, he held the first review meeting on Anna canteens. He said the government would examine the proposal of awarding food supply work to the Akshaya Patra Foundation. The government was studying the agreement signed and the orders issued in the past. The Foundation has conveyed that it is ready to start the food supply to canteens in three weeks. The minister said like in the past these canteens will supply meals for five rupees.

After coming to power in 2019, the YSR Congress government had shut down Anna canteens.

–IANS

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